We were invited by Sony to participate in the Spider-Man: Homecoming press event.
Today’s films shouldn’t be monochromatic, especially modern-day superhero movies. The world is full of different colors, races, and ethnicities, so of course, our films should be a reflection of that. And you will see a lot of that in Spider-Man: Homecoming. While previous Spider-Man films are great in their own right, they lacked the sense of diversity and inclusion many of us expect to see in a contemporary blockbuster film. But in Jon Watt’s Spider-Man: Homecoming we see a multicultural melting pot that doesn’t designate any of its characters to its token forms. Instead, these characters are there to play the love interest, the best friend, and the pitted rival, and there is no allusion or exposition that explains why their character’s race has changed.
“Working on a project like this is on a whole different level because you have fans and people who work so hard and put so much effort into it, you can’t help but want to do a good job,” Tony Revolori said. “I’m very fortunate to be a part of it with a great cast. Thank you to Jon [Watts], Amy [Pascal], and Kevin [Feige] for casting a 5’8” brown guy to play a 6’2” blond blue-eyed guy.”
You see, Revolori plays Flash Thompson, who in the comics was a Caucasian jock who constantly picked on Peter Parker. But in the film, his character goes through somewhat of a change. The Guatemalan actor plays a rival who is constantly eclipsed by Parker’s academics, which leaves Thompson to use his popularity to make Parker out to be the butt of his jokes.
That being said, changing him to be played by a Latino actor is a huge dynamic shift in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Like we’ve seen in Thor where Heimdall, who is depicted as Caucasian in the comics, is played by Idris Elba, Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t really see skin color, it only sees the spirit of the character.
“It’s wonderful. When you see the film, there isn’t a single line of exposition that explains why I look the way I look,” Revolori said. “I think that’s wonderful. I’m just in the movie. It’s not about being a certain race and I think that is the kind of diversity we need in Hollywood now.”
When asked about what inspired these changes, producer Amy Pascal said, “I would say that the inspiration for this was a reality.”
Sure other superhero films have been taking note of what changes need to be made, but in terms of having more diversity and inclusivity, Spider-Man: Homecoming really feels like it is taking one giant step in the right direction. So hopefully other films will follow suit.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017.